It’s time to get rid of the host team in the Memorial Cup.
Since 1983 the Memorial Cup tournament has included a host team. It was a reaction to the disastrous 1980, three-team, round-robin tournament when the Peterborough Petes threw a game against the Cornwall Royals to eliminate the Regina Pats.
The Pats are now the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, so they’re desperate to be competitive, to win a week-long, four-team tournament in May to become major junior hockey’s champions.
Knowing they get into the big dance, the Pats mortgaged their future, dealing draft choices to bolster a roster that is clinging to a playoff berth.Their provincial rivals in Saskatoon, Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert also made deals to get better.
Junior hockey is a business that treats unpaid children and young men as commodities, all to win a championship. The worst example came in Regina, where the host team was expected to sell its soul for a trophy that can be won with three victories, at the right time, in May.